Monday, April 23, 2007


Telecom Tower under construction in 1991

The Telecom Tower,
(formerly called as Tongkah Tower)
Rachadapesik Road. Thailand.

Mr. Teh, my cousin dropped by my house one day and told me that he was going to Thailand to assist his uncle to construct a 32 storey building for he has encountered many problems over there. I told him whether he needed me and he mentioned that he will ask his Uncle once over there. A few days later I received a call and he asked me to sent my CV over. Within a week time, I went to his Uncle house in Penang was immediately interviewed and was on the same flight with him and his family back to Bangkok.
Initial, the apartment I stayed was quite near but then due to the traffic jam, very normal over there, I have to leave for work before 7.00am in the morning and arriving 8.00am. If I left later than that I would reach the site office late.
Here all the workers speak Thai and I have definitely have the same communication problem. After going through so many oversea projects, I am prepare to over come this communication problem. The best solution to everything in the construction is by sketching out the immediate problem. The first day in the field, I was called by the carpenter to go up the building that was under construction and looking at the problem, I started to sketch the solution on the wall with my favourite 0.9mm technical pencil. Why carry such a big pencil lead? Well, normally when I am on site it will be very hard to find a proper piece of paper and the best piece of paper will be the leftover cement bags. In order to avoid disappointment, I would just start writing and sketching on any rough concrete surface and for that you cannot use a 0.3 or 0.5 for they will break easily but not a 0.9mm technical pencil. The bad point of using this 0.9mm pencil was that the lead will finish quite fast and it is costly. Anyway, by the time I finished my sketch, the Thai Foremen would have understand what I wanted them to do. Mission accomplished.
Thai are friendly people and in fact very soft spoken. The main problem with some of them( construction workers) are whenever they receive their salary, they would go all out drinking, " Kin Lao" and for SAFETY MEASURE, I have to give strict order to them that if they find themselves a bit tipsy the following day, please do NOT go to work.. I would also be SABAI SABAI for that day not full force will turn up for work. Sometime very tired for in this project we have to work until 3.00am in the morning for the hollow core slab cannot be deliver during the day except after 10.00pm each night. Traffic Jam!

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